Changes to gums, tongue, or the mucosal tissue lining your mouth could signal the presence of a pathological condition such as oral cancer. These abnormalities often require that a biopsy be done to collect a small sample of tissue for testing to identify or rule out pathology.
Early detection of conditions like oral cancer allow for quicker intervention, often producing the best outcomes for patients. By obtaining a small tissue sample for evaluation, your practitioner can make an accurate diagnosis and begin treatment sooner.
Any trauma, changes in color or texture of your gums, tongue, or the mucosal tissue lining your mouth, or difficulty using your mouth should be evaluated by the medical professionals at Palmetto Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons. Examples include:
- Reddish patches (erythroplasia) or whitish patches (leukoplakia) in the mouth.
- A sore that fails to heal and bleeds easily.
- A lump or thickening on the skin lining the inside of the mouth.
- Chronic sore throat or hoarseness.
- Difficulty in chewing or swallowing
Not all oral pathologies, including cancer, produce pain, so it is important to be evaluated for oral abnormalities, even if you are not experiencing pain at this time.
The surgeon will remove a small sample of tissue from the abnormality for testing and diagnosis. Remember, it is important not to ignore changes to your mouth. The earlier they can be assessed and diagnosed, the sooner treatment can begin, increasing the likelihood of a positive outcome for you and your family.